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Local artist Karen Leigh featured at Phillips Studio

| May 5, 2022 12:00 AM

Known for her highly detailed watercolor paintings of Montana life and scenery, Karen Leigh is an award-winning artist whose art continues to appeal to broad audiences. Phillips Studio & Gallery is hosting Leigh’s exhibit titled “Up Close” during May. This exhibit of small watercolors will evoke Montana’s four seasons in Montana, each with its own unique beauty and character. From a snowy back alley in Kalispell and a fall sunset on McWenneger Slough to cherry blossoms near Flathead Lake and a fisherman enjoying a great summer day on the river, the exhibit showcases primarily local color, but also subjects further afield.

Leigh is a fourth generation Montanan who has lived in the Flathead Valley since the early 1970s and knows the subjects of her paintings well. She received her graphic design degree from Montana State University, graduating with honors. Her primary interest has always been transparent watercolor and she has studied under some of the finest masters.

Leigh is a signature member of the Montana Watercolor Society. Her painting “The Mountaineer” won the Gold Award at the Watercolor Society’s 39th annual national juried exhibition at the Hockaday Museum of Art in 2021. Leigh also won the “People’s Choice” Award in the Members Show at the Hockaday Museum of Art this past March.

Leigh is a longstanding faculty member at Flathead Valley Community College and teaches workshops here and abroad. For 10 years, in collaboration with calligrapher and artist Gini Ogle, she designed and published a line of prints, posters, calendars and note cards marketed under the name Echo Designs. For three years running the two artists were also the winners in the U.S. Postal Museum’s international competition, “The Graceful Envelope.”

Phillips Studio & Gallery is hosting a reception First Friday, May 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery in the Kalispell Center Mall. The public is invited. The exhibit will be on view through May 28. For more information, call the gallery at 406-309-2335. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

photo

"Spring Green" - Karen Leigh

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